It's New Year's Eve, which brings with it no small amount of reflection on the past. Since we are still waiting to start the next cycle and there is nothing much to talk about, I thought I'd share the beginning of our story. I'll add to it chapter by chapter during future waiting periods. In the meantime, Happy New Year! May 2018 be a million times better than 2017 in almost every single way!
Chapter 1: We're Ready to Start Our Family!!!
The truth is, I had been ready for a couple years. I knew that in theory we were hoping to move closer to family before we started trying, but my biological clock was hammering me and I knew that we could manage if we needed to. But S was not into it. When we were in our third year of job-searching for the big move, we finally came to an agreement - we'd just schedule an initial appointment to find out what the process would look like. No promises that we would start or not, just that we'd find out. We got our first taste of what this fabulous trip would look like when their first available appointment was 6 weeks out.
So there we were. June 24, 2016. Our initial consult. A nurse took us back and took my vitals. Next up, my first ever vaginal ultrasound. Everything was going okay. She was saying lots of words that sounded foreign and alien to me - endometrial lining, small fibroids (NBD!), follicles. My left ovary looked fine and then she moved to find my right ovary. It was nowhere to be seen. She couldn't determine what she was seeing and she asked a tech to come in and check. The tech couldn't find it either. "I'm sure it's fine honey - I'm going to see if the doctor has a minute to come look." O-kay. S and I sat there staring at each other in confusion and, if I'm being honest, some fear.
The doctor came bouncing in, shoved the wand back in and within 5 seconds identified the problem. In the fast, aggressive, and blunt manner that characterizes the speech of most East Coasters I encountered while we lived there, the doctor gave us our diagnosis and next steps. "You have an endometrioma - it's endometriosis that has formed a cyst on your ovary. We cannot see the ovary because it is behind the endometrioma. You will need to have it removed before we can start treatment. I'm referring you to my colleague who is way better at these surgeries than me. Trust me, it will be worth the wait. He'll do the surgery, you'll heal up, and we'll get you pregnant just like that!" It's been 18 months so I'm obviously paraphrasing, but I remember that last sentence word for word.
Turns out, like most pronouncements that come from Reproductive Endocrinologists, it was a little more complicated than that. Of course it took a month to get in to see the doctor who would be performing the surgery. And of course, at that appointment (on July 21) he told us there were various tests he needed to perform at specific moments in my cycle before we could schedule the surgery - no one could have just told us that so we could have had them done during that month-long wait (a month, as you know, is precisely one cycle). On August 22, I had my 3-D SHG (not to be confused for an HSG, during which ink is inserted into your uterus to see if it will come out your fallopian tubes; the 3-D sonohysterogram involves the insertion of saline into your uterus so they can get a more thorough read of what is going on in there). In the meantime, I got tons of bloodwork done - I was way low on Vitamin D, and I am CMV negative. That doesn't sound bad, but trust me, it is. More on that in a later post. S and I also attended a psychiatric consult that was required for any couple using donor sperm, eggs, or embryos.
Thus concludeth Chapter 1 of S & B's family-creating adventures. Tune in next time to read all about the surgery and recovery!